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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by…

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears (original 1975; edition 1980)

by Verna Aardema

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2,2251432,898 (4.08)8
Title:Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Authors:Verna Aardema
Collections:Your library
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Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema (1975)


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Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears is an African folktale based on the realistic consequences of telling a lie and the harmful effects it may have to others. Author, Verna Aardema, retells this tale in a playful tone, jerking the audience between dramatic and humorous aspects. The unique illustrations add spunk to the storyline; specfically due to the white outlines of the abstract animal illustrations. I adored the author’s efforts to recreate an entertaining story from a life lesson almost every individual will encounter. To reader’s warning, a child does pass away; making this not a choice of text for a sensitive audience. However, overall this is a great read for younger children, in presenting a serious lesson with a cheerful tone. ( )
  nfigue1 | Oct 6, 2014 |
Full of imagination, colorful illustrations and word sounds, this book illustrates an African folktale come to life. The domino effect from one iguana's being upset to the sun not even coming up shows human nature through the actions of African animals. It is eventually resolved and everything is back to normal, but all the animals have learned a lesson. The mosquito, who started everything by telling a tall tale ends up whining and complaining by buzzing in people's ears. Of course, people respond by swatting the mosquito!

I really liked the word sounds like mek mek, krik krik, kaa kaa, pem pem, purup purup,Zeee and KPAO! It might be fun to brainstorm with children about how letter sounds reflect sounds we hear in nature or even around us in our classroom.

This book lends itself to doing some kind of art project with either watercolor or maybe with paper shapes. ( )
  barbarapatt | Oct 6, 2014 |
The Mosquito tells a bad joke to Iguana who is so upset she put sticks in her ears so that she doesn't hear mosquito. Iguana also doesn't hear Snake when she says good morning. Snake concludes that Iguana must not like her and is plotting against her so she hides a rabbits den causing Rabbit to run out of the den alarming the Crow, who sets of an alarm for the whole jungle which ultimately results in the death of a baby owl.
In this imaginay world Mama owl is responsible for hooting so that the sun will come up. However she is so upset about her baby's death that she refuses to wake the sun. The animals then call to a meeting to figure out who's fault it was that the baby owl was dead. Eventually they figure out that the mosquito started the chain reaction. Mosquito is so upset he doesn't dare talk to any of the animals so he whispers in people's ears to see if the animals ares still mad at him. Since the person usually swats at him when he does this,he comcludes that the animals are still mad at him.

I gave this book five stars becasue i think it is a great cultural story. The story is imaginative and the children can connect it to their own lives as well as to onother culture.
I also really like the illustrations on this book they were simple but put against the white background they really stand out and they are different in that they resemble African arts and Drawings. ( )
  ycinto1 | Sep 17, 2014 |
In this African tale, a mosquito whispers some nonsense in a iguanas ear. The Iguana refused to listen to the mosquito so he put sticks in his ears. Because the Iguana couldn't hear, he didn't know the python was talking to him. The python thought the Iguana was mad at him, so he shoots down a rabbit hole. That scared a rabbit who ran away frantically. A crow saw this, and sent out a call that danger is near. This scared a monkey who accidentally killed a baby owlet. The grieving mother owl was too upset to wake the sun with her hooting that morning. Night didn't end, so King Lion called a meeting to find out why the sun wasn't called up. All of the trouble was traced back to the mosquito. Finding the culprit satisfied the mother owl, and she called the sun up.

Personal Reaction:
I really liked this book. It took you on a mini adventure through the jungle, and took you to a different world. I think its important for children to learn of different cultures and this book would be a good one for that. This book is an African tale/myth. Its interesting to think that the owl calls the sun up every morning with her hoot, and the animals have meetings with the King Lion.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Talk about misunderstands and how they happen with your class. Have your class play the game Telephone, to show how easy a misunderstanding can happen.
2. Talk with you class about where this story originated from. Have your children locate Africa on the globe.
  CiaraLohman | Sep 10, 2014 |
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is a delightful folktale about why mosquitoes are annoying. Verna Aardema, the author, employs different animals found in West Africa to weave an entricate tale about not jumping to conclusions.

The Mosquito wants to gossip and tell ridiculous stories to Iguana. Iguana, however, is so upset by the lie Mosquito tells that he ignores Mosquito, leading to a whole chain of events that results in a baby owl being killed!

This book is great for teaching lessons about not jumping to conclusions, and hearing everyone's point of view. ( )
  SimoneAlexis | Sep 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verna Aardemaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Marcia VanDuinen who heard this story first
First words
One morning a mosquito saw an iguana drinking at a waterhole.
Is everyone still mad at me?
Mosquito told me such a big lie, I couldn't bear to listen to it. So I put sticks in my ears.
I'd rather be deaf than listen to such nonsense!
It was the mosquito's fault
The mosquito said, "I saw a farmer digging yams that were almost as big as I am."
"What's a mosquito compared to a yam?" snapped the iguana grumpily.
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Book description
This West African pourquoi tale explains why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears. It all starts with Mosquito telling a lie to Iguana. Tired of listening to Mosquito, Iguana puts twigs in his own ears. When Python tries to talk to Iguana and Iguana doesn't respond to him, it sets off a chain of events that leads to the sun not rising in the morning. King Lion must learn the story of the events leading back to Mosquito's lie in order to get Mother Owl to call the sun. The story is enhanced by beautiful Caldecott winning illustrations.

If you enjoyed this story, try "Ahanti to Zulu: African Traditions".
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Reveals the meaning of the mosquito's buzz.

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